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South Sudan

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, has been beset by frequent conflict since it gained independence in 2011.

Children face many risks, including violence, displacement and food shortages. Our teams are working hard to protect children, reunite families and support livelihoods.

Conflict in South Sudan has forced thousands of families from their homes. In the chaos of war, children and parents are often separated. Our family tracing and reunification teams help them find each other again. And we ensure unaccompanied children are safe

We're also strengthening child protection systems across the country. We work with local leaders, police, teachers and children to help communities keep their children safe. For child refugees and displaced children, we set up safe spaces. These give them the chance to play, learn and get support to deal with traumatic experiences.

MUAC arm band (top), Ready to Use Theraputic Food/RUTF (left), child weighting scales (right). Kapoeta County, South Sudan.

Pictured: RUTF - a high-energy, micronutrient enhanced paste which mothers can give their children at home; child-weighting scales; a band to measure mid-upper arm circumference.


 Our Child Friendly Spaces help protect children from physical harm and psychosocial distress, and allow them to keep learning and developing both during and after an emergency.

We also provide tailored case management services to the most vulnerable children: children associated with armed forces and groups, unaccompanied and separated children, and those affected by violence including gender-based violence. We further support the family tracing, reunification and reintegration of all unaccompanied and separated children.


More than one in five children in South Sudan are malnourished. Droughts, flooding and food price shocks mean they simply don't get enough nutritious food. We run centres to screen children for malnutrition and give free medical care.

Our teams also train health workers in remote communities to diagnose and treat malnutrition, diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia. In areas where clinics do exist, we supply vital equipment, medicines and training.


South Sudan is a fertile country, yet food insecurity is a major problem. We're supporting farmers by demonstrating new techniques to help them grow and sell more food.

For the most marginalised young people, finding a way to make a living can be incredibly hard. We're teaching vocational skills to young people who missed out on education or were married early, and to former child soldiers. Subjects include carpentry, hairdressing, masonry and tailoring.

We're also helping young people and vulnerable families acquire the skills and tools they need to set up their own businesses.

Page updated October 2021.

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